What just happened? Sony on Thursday said it wouldn't be selling its upcoming PlayStation 5 in-person at retail stores on launch day due to Covid-19 concerns. Later in the day, Best Buy took it a step further by banning in-person next-gen console sales through the holiday season.

The electronics retailer revealed in a blog post that its retail stores won’t have the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S available to purchase on launch day in person. Worse yet, you won’t be able to walk into a Best Buy and buy a new console at any time throughout the holiday season without first placing your order online.

Best Buy put a positive spin on the news, noting that “there’s no need to camp out at your local store, just check back on BestBuy.com without leaving home!”

Indeed, that’s exactly what Sony, and now Best Buy, are attempting to avoid – long lines populated by gamers itching to get their hands on a new console as soon as possible. Also lost is the camaraderie and the experience of participating in a midnight or early morning product launch, but such is the reality we live in today.

Best Buy said online buyers can still pick up their purchase via “store pickup or contactless curbside.”

If you pre-ordered one of the new consoles and selected store pickup, you can pick it up from your local store on launch day when stores open early at 9 a.m. local time, or at your confirmed appointment time.

Microsoft has not shared any updated launch day plans as of this writing.

Update: Walmart has joined the bandwagon.

Image credit: Miosotis_Jade